For a long time, I have dreamed about going on a yoga retreat in Bali, but my traveler budget wouldn’t allow this. Instead of giving up on my dream, I decided to create my own yoga retreat on this magical island.
Bali is like Disneyland for yogis. It attracts yogis from all over the world and you’ll find tons of great yoga studios, workshops and trainings. Add to this the spirituality of the island, the stunning landscapes, the tropical weather and the always-smiling Balinese and you have the perfect place for a yoga retreat.
Here are some tips how to craft an inexpensive but amazing DIY yoga retreat in Bali.
1. Find Your Yoga Studio in Bali
The most famous place to practice yoga in Bali is The Yoga Barn in Ubud, one of the most beautiful yoga studios I’ve ever seen. Daily classes range from Hatha yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Power, Iyengar, Yin Yoga to Restorative Yoga. You can mix it up with Pranayama, Meditation, Kirtan, Ecstatic Dance and so much more. Choose from over 15 classes a day – there is something for everyone and for all levels. A 10-class pass costs around $68 and a 30-day unlimited class card is $196 (prices 04/2017).
Radiantly Alive Yoga Studio is another very popular yoga studio right in the center of Ubud. It’s a bit smaller compared to The Yoga Barn, which means you don’t have such a huge selection of classes. But it does feels more personal and intimate. I love the Fly High Yoga classes and the strong Vinyasa yoga classes. A 10-class pass is $75, a 1-month unlimited class card is $175 (prices 04/2017).
If you want to be closer to the beach, Desa Seni in Canggu might be the perfect place for you. Desa Seni offers daily yoga classes with highly experienced teachers, workshops and trainings. Choose from around six available classes a day, for example Sunrise Hatha, Ashtanga Creative Flow, Kundalini Yoga or Yin Restorative. They also offer accommodation but you don’t have to stay here to visit the yoga classes (it’s a bit pricey though the rooms are gorgeous). A 12-class pass is $90 (prices 04/2017).
2. Choose Your Accommodation
If you want to save money and experience the local culture, I recommend staying in a Balinese homestay. Make sure to negotiate if you are staying for a longer period. You can find a simple but clean room including breakfast for around $250 a month.
If you are looking for more comfort (e.g. air con, a swimming pool), Airbnb has some great options. Here are some accommodation options that I recommend:
Situated north of Ubud Palace Road (a 5-minute walk to Radiantly Alive, 20 minutes to the Yoga Barn), Jiwa’s House offers fan-cooled or Air con rooms surrounded by a lush Balinese garden within a Balinese family compound. A standard room costs around $15.
Kunang Kunang Guesthouse
Centrally located in the heart of Ubud, this little guesthouse offers nice rooms and a pool. I stayed here while I did my first yoga teacher training and loved it. Prices start around $26.
3. Nurture Your Body
The food in Bali is simply incredible! Ubud is the raw food capital of the world and you will find healthy and delicious vegetarian and vegan options everywhere. You can eat cheaply in small local restaurants or enjoy organic green juices and fresh salads in one of the healthy cafes lining the streets.
One of my favorite places is the Garden Kafe at the Yoga Barn. They use locally grown produce for their living vegan foods, juices, smoothies, raw snacks and yummy cakes. It’s the perfect place for a post-yoga breakfast and to meet some of your fellow yogis.
In Canggu, you should definitely check out The Shady Shack and try their famous Nori Bowl. I got addicted to them pretty fast and visited nearly every day when I was living in Canggu!
4. Relax And Recharge
Go for a walk in the rice fields or treat yourself to a massage. Balinese massages are hugely popular and widely available – and much more affordable than at home. On my DIY yoga retreat, I pampered myself with a treatment every single day and my body never felt better.
My favorite place in Ubud for a massage is Bodyworks on Hanuman Street. Here, you can get a strong deep tissue massage for around $17.
In Canggu, you should definitely try out Gold Dust Beauty Lounge. The back booster massage is just what your body needs after too many chaturangas.
5. Add Some Fun Time
Bali offers so much more than just yoga of course. You can learn to surf, go diving, climb a volcano or take pottery lessons to name just a few activities to add to your yoga retreat. You’ll meet new people, have some fun and see more of Bali.
I loved my DIY yoga retreat in Bali! I tried out new yoga styles, met amazing teachers, did up to three classes daily and could see how my yoga practice improving every day. I treated myself to daily massages and nurtured my body with green juices and fresh & organic food from the many healthy restaurants. After two weeks, I felt completely recharged and ready to go back to work.
Creating your own yoga retreat in Bali this way takes a little bit more effort though. If you are looking for more structure and an instant community of like-minded yogis, any of BookYogaRetreats.com's yoga retreats in Bali promises to be a wonderful experience. You can find out more about Susanne on her website, Happy Yoga Travels.